If you are starting a new business or have one that is fairly young, you will likely spend quite a bit of time thinking about how you can grow and ultimately be successful. Everyone says there are “tricks of the trade”, but a lot of times, they don’t elaborate on what those tricks are or how they are helpful.
Many Black business women get a great start on their entrepreneurial journey, but then find themselves searching for ways to grow, reach more people, and get more customers. The good news is that there are some general things that every business can do to help bring about success.
6 Things Every Successful Business Needs
Starting a business requires a lot of planning, but once your doors (or virtual doors) are open, there is still a lot to consider. Take a look at these 6 things your business needs in order to succeed.
1. A Genuine Need
The best way to start a successful business is to identify a need and then find ways to solve it. If no one needs your product or service, it will be hard to sell it. So think about your business as a solution. What do your customers need? How can you create unique solutions that stand out from the competition? The more people that need your product or service and find it solves their problem, the more word-of-mouth your business gets, and therefore, the more growth.
2. A Good Business Model
Your business model is your plan for how you will make money with your business. A good business model is incredibly important, especially if you want to grow or eventually seek funding or partners. Your business model should include:
- Operating costs
- Cost of goods sold
- Gross margin
- Profit margin
The most successful businesses have competitive pricing, multiple sources of revenue, and a 10-20% profit margin. You can track these elements and the process of meeting your goals with your business model.
Credibility is what sets you apart as an authority in your industry. You not only sell a product or service, but you know the details of the industry, competition, and current trends. Showing your customers that you are credible builds trust and relationships that will take your business to the next level. If you have gaps in your skill set, bring in experts or advisors who can help you identify potential weaknesses and bolster your business.
If you are just starting a new business, you may have heard how important it is to have capital, or money, to start your business. Sometimes that is true, as you may need money for licensing, equipment, or starter inventory. But often, you can do a lot of your business startup without spending a lot of money. Some ways to make the most of your resources include working from home, using free software, partner with first customers, buy used equipment, or trade services with other businesses.
5. Detailed Records
Speaking to tracking your business, you should keep detailed records of all business-related transactions. Aside from your business model, keeping detailed records helps ensure you are compliant with any applicable codes or licenses, it helps you see where your business stands financially, and identifies potential challenges you need to address.
Another element of successful businesses is that they are consistent. Consistency in your marketing, pricing, customer service, and follow-up are all key to making your business successful on a daily basis. It is also what instills confidence with your customers and keeps them coming back over time.
The Bottom Line
An alarming number of businesses fail during the first few years of operation. Some of reasons why businesses fail is that they don’t take steps early on to build success into their business model and plan. The 6 points discussed above are all things that you can do to help your business succeed. Success takes more than a great idea. It takes time, effort, and hard work.